Bart M. : After three albums (one each year from 2013 on), and three years since their last release, Oakland's Cavern breaks the silence with their EP 'Eater'. An album with six interesting tracks that show both a clear difference from as a distinct resemblance to their previous album 'Outsiders'. After their second release ('Tales Of Ruin'), Cavern let go off the vocals and on this album they have also said farewell to the bass guitar. This is the first album Cavern presents to us as a duo and what remains are drums, guitars and a little bit of synthesizer.
Thus, their sound is subjected heavily to change with each album, and that is always a risk. It is also dangerous to have an opinion on that, because if you do not appreciate these changes, chances are you will be called an old, wet blanket. At least that is what happened when I voiced my opinion about Anathema's new course. But as it is with that band, Cavern is actually doing quite a good job. Obviously the sound gets less heavy and less dark, but there is a clear development, and where 'Outsiders' still had lots of post metal influences, 'Eater' sounds a lot more like a Mike Oldfield project that has the occasional heavier moments and post rock influences. Because this is an instrumental band that only uses a couple of instruments I think song titles become more important, because they are the only things left to give the listener an indication of where you want your song to be going. Titles like 'Photos Of Paintings' and 'Sunday' are quite strong in my opinion, because they instantly summon up an image, an image that will give you certain expectations. And for some these expectations will be exceeded when listening to the songs, but for others they might not be met.
Musically 'Eater' is a good album. It laps gently from one song to the next, on and on like a calm stream, interspersed by intense rapids and deep waterfalls. For me it does not reach the emotional level that I would expect an instrumental album to reach, but it goes a long way.